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Using all available means to protect the culture of life

This past week we saw the unfortunate overturning of the longstanding Mexico City policy that prevented funding of abortions by U.S. tax dollars abroad even though I and a number of other senators recently joined a letter to President Obama asking that he not reverse the policy. And we will likely see more expansive abortion legislation like the Freedom of Choice Act offered soon since the new make-up of this Democratic Congress and the Obama administration are much friendlier to abortion advocates.

I intend to ensure that the views of the many Americans who find this practice to be abhorrent are represented as we move forward.

That’s why I recently announced that I will use every procedural tool under my senatorial rights to filibuster, “hold” or block the Freedom of Choice Act from moving forward in the U.S. Senate. FOCA has not yet been introduced in the 111th Congress, but U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer authored a version of FOCA in the 110th Congress.

The Freedom of Choice Act would nullify all state and federal laws that interfere with access to abortion. It would also overturn partial birth abortion bans, eliminate parental notification statutes and force taxpayers to fund abortion.

FOCA invalidates federal and state laws regarding full disclosure to the patient – including ultrasound of the baby, information about pain inflicted on the baby or possible complications to the mother. In addition, parental notification or consent for minors seeking abortion, waiting periods for mothers considering abortions, restrictions based on fetal viability – allowing for abortions to occur at any point during the nine months of pregnancy – protections for doctors and nurses who decline to participate in an abortions due to moral and religious beliefs, protections for religiously-affiliated hospitals and public hospitals that do not perform abortions and exclusions for abortion coverage from health care plans of federal employees would be at risk.

The bill’s description begins by outlining its intent as “to protect, consistent with Roe v. Wade, a woman’s freedom to choose to bear a child or terminate a pregnancy, and for other purposes.”

This bill is one of the largest attacks against the culture of life we’ve seen in government, ever. I’m going to fight to ensure that those who support life have their voices and concerns heard about this divisive bill.

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